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Simultaneous and sequential processing, reading, and neurological maturation of Native Indian (Tsimshian) children Williams, David George


This study was designed to investigate the relationship between the developmental trends for Simultaneous and Sequential Information Processing and the developmental trends for Reading and Neurological Maturation, and if these trends are influenced by cultural/experiential background. Differences in Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children: Mental Processing trends (for Simultaneous and Sequential Processing) between North Coast B.C. Native Indian (Tsimshian) children and Non-Native children, as well as differences in the developmental trends for reading decoding and comprehension (B.C. QUIET: Word Identification and Passage Comprehension subtests, and K-ABC: Reading Understanding subtest), and neurological maturation (Grip Strength Test) were examined with a sample of 225 children ages 8-12. Since cultural/experiential background was proposed as a primary influence on the dependent variables, two samples of Native Indian children were used: one from isolated north coast B.C. villages and the other from the north coast city of Prince Rupert. The Non-Native sample also came from Prince Rupert. Canonical analysis revealed significant relationships between Ethnicity and Sirnlultaneous and Sequential Processing, the Simultaneous and Processing Subtests, Reading, and Neurological Maturation variables. Differences between the two Native groups were more significant than differences between the Non-Native and either Native group. There was no observable "Native Indian pattern" of Simultaneous and Sequential Processing. What was observable was a different maturational rate for the Village-Native group on Information Processing, Reading, and Neurological Maturation. These differences are interpreted as differences in maturational rate rather than permanent deficits in function. An anticipated lag in the development of sequential processing skills by the Native Indian groups was not evident. Both modes of processing were available to each group at every age level. The Non-Native group came closest to displaying a lag in sequential processing skills. It was concluded that Simultaneous and Sequential Information Processing, Reading, and Neurological Maturation displayed similar developmental trends which were primarily determined by Age and cultural/experiential background.

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